A Florida engineer climbing the Appalachian Trail claims to have noticed Brian Laundrie early Saturday morning throughout a “weird” encounter close to the North Carolina-Tennessee border.

Dennis Davis was making a three-point activate Waterville Road in Hartford, Tennessee at roughly 12:35 a.m. ET on October 2 when a person in a white pickup truck flashed his lights and waved his hand. 

With the facet of their automobile by facet, the person, who Davis believed to be Laundrie, appeared “messed up” and matted. The man instructed Davis he was misplaced.


“And I said ‘well I’m not from around here. Where are you trying to go?’” Davis described to hosts Jillian Mele and Todd Piro on “Fox & Friends First.”

The man instructed Davis that he was trying to go to California, which struck Davis as odd.

“And then he said ‘my girlfriend and I got into a fight, but she called me and told me that she loved me—and I’ve got to get to California to see her.”

Appalachian Trail hiker claims he saw Brian Laundrie in TennesseeVideo

Davis gave the person instructions to freeway I-40, however the man refuted his steerage. 

“No I’m gonna keep driving down this road,” Davis claims the person mentioned to him. “I think it goes to California.” 

Davis, who was initially intending on sleeping within the parking zone close by till morning, mentioned “there was no way” he would keep there in a single day after the encounter. 


He rapidly jumped on the freeway and was driving west when it dawned on him that the person may have been Laundrie. He pulled over on the following exit, and regarded up photos of Laundrie on his cellphone.

“The very first picture I pulled up was that portrait view of him with that black beard and mustache., Davis said. “And proper at that minute, I mentioned that is completely him.”

That morning Davis said he made two calls to the FBI, one call to Tennessee 911 and one call to North Carolina 911. 

The Haywood County, North Carolina, Sheriff’s Office said on their dispatch that they received a call from Davis after 2 a.m. Saturday near the Waterville exit and sent out a few officers to check out the area. Deputies came across three idle vehicles, which they ran, but all came up inconsequential and were likely hikers’ vehicles.

Laundrie and his girlfriend Gabby Petito were traveling across the country in a Ford Transit van over the summer before Laundrie returned to his home in North Port, Florida, on Sept. 1 in the van without Petito. Petito’s parents reported her missing 10 days later on Sept. 11. Laundrie’s parents reported Laundrie missing on Sept. 17 but said the last time they saw him was on Sept. 14.

After Petito’s missing persons’ report was filed on Sept. 11, Laundrie would not cooperate with the police investigation, officials said. The Laundries’ attorney released a statement on Sept. 14, in which he announced he had advised his clients to remain “within the background.” The household revealed three days later that they’d not seen him since Sept. 14.

Fox News’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.